‘You have to challenge yourself, otherwise what’s the point?’: Prasad Oak on ‘Kaccha Limbu’

The popular Marathi actor’s directorial debut deals with a couple’s struggle to meet the sexual needs of their mentally challenged son.

Nearly two decades after he left Pune to become a filmmaker in Mumbai, popular Marathi actor Prasad Oak will make his directorial debut with the August 11 release Kaccha Limbu. The trailer is undoubtedly provocative: it shows a couple’s struggle to bring up their mentally challenged son, who is trying to deal with his burgeoning sexual desire.

The trailer has been called “bold”, but Oak disagrees. “I wouldn’t necessarily call it a bold film,” he told “It is about showing the experience of being the parents of a special needs child. The kind of problems they face and the journey they need to go on to overcome them so they can live more positively. That’s what Kaccha Limbu is about.”

Oak got the idea in 2014. A chance encounter with Girish Dalvi, the son of Jaywant Dalvi, turned him towards one of the noted litterateur’s novels, which he thought would be perfect for a film adaptation. “Someone should throw light on the problems faced by the parents of special needs children and films reach a wide audiences more quickly and that is what drew me in,” he said.”

Oak worked with his good friend and long-time collaborator Chinmay Mandlekar, who had previously written for him in Kshan (2006) and the television show Awaghachi Sansaar, and they spent the next two years adapting the story.

Kaccha Limbu.

Around 90% of Kaccha Limbu has been shot in black and white, to depict the life of the parents played by Sonali Kulkarni and Natrang and Banjo director Ravi Jadhav, which has become “devoid of colour”. The rest of the film has bursts of colour, which will showcase the hidden desires of Kulkarni’s repressed character.

Oak’s decision to cast Kulkarni and to use this technique to shoot his debut came from a black-and-white photoshoot with Kulkarni. The photographer, Amalendu Choudhary, is also Kaccha Limbu’s cinematographer.

Oak also wanted to experiment for his directorial debut, and shooting in black and white separates his film from the competition. Oak and Choudhary worked on the design, costumes and set for two months before the shoot so that everything would look perfect despite the absence of colour. The challenging nature of potentially risqué subject matter also made it perfect material for Oak’s debut. “Of course, it made the film difficult, but you have to challenge yourself, otherwise what’s the point?” he said.

In recent months, many films dealing with complex subjects, particularly those that are sexual in nature, have had a hard time with the Central Board for Film Certification. Oak wasn’t particularly bothered about the process (the movie was being certified at the time of publication). “The Censor Board has sensible people, who don’t ask for cuts just to trouble filmmakers,” he said. “When they see Kaccha Limbu, they will understand the intentions behind the film and I don’t think it will be a problem.”

In a cast of seasoned Marathi actors, including Kulkarni and Sachin Khedekar, there is the relative newcomer Manmeet Pem, who has the hardest role of playing the mentally challenged character. To ensure that Pem’s performance would not draw too much from other sources and be derivative, Pem and Oak workshopped the role for months. They went over every element of behaviour to improvise and create a fresh character that would feel real and organic: the way he would laugh or cry, how he interacted with his parents.

“We tried our best to make every character real,” Oak said. “If you see the trailer, none of the performances are dramatic or loud.”

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It’s the new year and it’s already time to plan your next holiday

Here are some great destinations for you to consider.

Vacation planning can get serious and strategic. Some people swear by the save and splurge approach that allows for one mini getaway and one dream holiday in a year. Others use the solo to family tactic and distribute their budget across solo trips, couple getaways and family holidays. Regardless of what strategy you implement to plan your trip, the holiday list is a handy tool for eager travellers. After having extensively studied the 2018 holiday list, here’s what we recommend:

March: 10 days of literature, art and culture in Toronto

For those you have pledged to read more or have more artistic experiences in 2018, Toronto offers the Biblio-Mat, the world’s first randomising vending machine for old books. You can find the Biblio-Mat, paper artefacts, rare books and more at The Monkey’s Paw, an antiquarian bookseller. If you can tear yourself away from this eclectic bookstore, head over to The Public Library in Toronto for the Merril Collection of over 72000 items of science fiction, fantasy magic realism and graphic novels. With your bag full of books, grab a coffee at Room 2046 – a café cum store cum studio that celebrates all things whimsical and creative. Next, experience art while cycling across the 80km Pan Am Path. Built for walking, running, cycling and wheeling, the Pan Am Path is a recreational pathway that offers a green, scenic and river views along with art projects sprinkled throughout the route. You can opt for a guided tour of the path or wander aimlessly for serendipitous discoveries.

Nothing beats camping to ruminate over all those new ideas collected over the past few days. Make way to Killarney Provincial Park for 2-3 days for some quiet time amongst lakes and hills. You can grab a canoe, go hiking or get back to nature, but don’t forget to bring a tent.

If you use the long-weekend of 2nd March to extend your trip, you get to experience the Toronto Light Festival as a dazzling bonus.

June: 10 days of culinary treats, happy feet and a million laughs in Chicago

Famous for creating the deep-dish pizza and improv comedy, Chicago promises to banish that mid-year lull. Get tickets for The Second City’s Legendary Laughs at The UP-Comedy Club - the company that gave us the legendary Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert and Key & Peele. All that laughter can sure work up an appetite, one that can be satiated with Lou Malnati’s classic deep-dish pizza. For dessert, head over to the Ferrara Original Bakery for mouth-watering treats.

Chicago in June is pleasant and warm enough to explore the outdoors and what better way to soak in the sunshine, than by having a picnic at the Maggie Daley Park. Picnic groves, wall climbing, mini golf, roller blading – the park offers a plethora of activities for individuals as well as families.

If you use the long weekend of 15th June, you can extend your trip to go for Country LakeShake – Chicago’s country music festival featuring Blake Shelton and Dierks Bentley.

August: 7 days in London for Europe’s biggest street festival

Since 1964, the Notting Hill Carnival has been celebrating London’s Caribbean communities with dancing, masquerade and music ranging from reggae to salsa. Watch London burst into colours and sparkle at the Notting Hill Carnival. Home to Sherlock Holmes and Charles Dickens Museum, London is best experienced by wandering through its tiny streets. Chance encounters with bookstores such as Foyles and Housemans, soaking in historic sights while enjoying breakfast at Arthur’s Café or Blackbird Bakery, rummaging the stalls at Broadway market or Camden Market – you can do so much in London while doing nothing at all.

The Museum of Brand, Packaging and Advertising can send you reminiscing about those old ads, while the Clowns Gallery Museum can give you an insight in clown-culture. If you’d rather not roam aimlessly, book a street-art tour run by Alternative London or a Jack the Ripper Tour.

October: 10 days of an out-of-body experience in Vegas

About 16 km south of the intersection of Las Vegas Boulevard and St. Rose Parkway in Henderson, lies a visual spectacle. Seven Magic Mountains, an art installation by Ugo Rondinone, stands far away from the wild vibe that people expect in Las Vegas and instead offers a sense of wonder. Imagine seven pillars of huge, neon boulders, stacked up against one another stretched towards the sky. There’s a lot more where that came from, in Las Vegas. Captivating colour at the permanent James Turrell exhibit in Louis Vuitton, outdoor adventures at the Bootleg Canyon and vintage shopping at Patina Décor offer experiences that are not usually associated with Vegas. For that quintessential Vegas show, go for Shannon McBeath: Absinthe for some circus-style entertainment. If you put the holiday list to use, you can make it for the risefestival – think thousands of lanterns floating in the sky, right above you.

It’s time to get on with the vacation planning for the new year. So, pin up the holiday list, look up deals on hotels and flights and start booking. Save money by taking advantage of the British Airways Holiday Sale. With up to 25% off on flight, the offer is available to book until 31st January 2018 for travel up to 31st December in economy and premium economy and up to 31st August for business class. For great fares to great destinations, see here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of British Airways and not by the Scroll editorial team.